Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Testing, Testing

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is already making it clear that he’s planning on running for president in 2016.  He’s already on the stump as one of the more attractive and less vitriolic of the party, and he’s got a really good business model already in place: after all, how unlikely is it that America will elect a first-term senator with a name ending in a vowel as president?

Jonathan Chait at New York magazine looks at the new model and finds that under the hood, though, it’s the same vehicle as the one they ran last year.

On the budget, Rubio delivered the Republican weekly radio address, and his message was more of the old-timey religion: We must get the national debt under control. Tax increases will not solve our $16 trillion debt. Only economic growth and a reform of entitlement programs will help control the debt.

This is the classic Republican metaphysical dodge, which not only argues for keeping taxes as low as possible but refuses to acknowledge that revenue bears any relationship at all to deficits. Deficits equal spending! Two legs bad, Reagan good!

On immigration, meanwhile, Rubio is carefully positioning himself to oppose any potential deal. He is not coming out and immediately throwing his body in front of the legislative train. Rather, he pleads that we must not try to do everything at once and should instead try to reform immigration “step by step.” Of course, “step by step” is exactly the catchphrase Republicans used to oppose health-care reform. It’s a way of associating yourself with the broadly popular goal of reform while giving yourself cover to oppose any particular bill that has a chance to pass. You’re not against reform, you’re against this reform. It’s too much, too fast.

The Republicans and Mr. Rubio seem convinced that it’s not what they say, it’s the way that they say it that is ruining their message and why they lost the election.  And as long as they keep thinking that, they’ll keep losing.

3 barks and woofs on “Testing, Testing

  1. Here’s the email I got back from Senator Rubio when I wrote him to complain about his thoughtless vote on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me to express your thoughts regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (U.N.CRPD). I am grateful for your thoughts and welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with you.

    The United States has always been a world leader in our treatment of those with disabilities, through our advanced legal system and through the Americans with Disabilities Act. We are proud to treat Americans with disabilities with the respect and dignity they deserve and we need to continue to strive for opportunities to improve the lives of the disabled.

    The Obama Administration has clearly stated that the U.N. CRPD would not change any current U.S. laws. Since the U.N. CRPD does not alter current U.S. law, it would not improve the current conditions of Americans with disabilities. Additionally, the U.N. CRPD does not obligate other countries to improve their laws concerning the treatment of those with disabilities. The U.S. through the State Department and our foreign embassies already engages foreign governments on the issue of disability rights. On this bi-lateral basis, our government works to improve not only the lives of foreigners with disabilities but also Americans with disabilities traveling and living abroad.

    The U.N. CRPD was passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 26, 2012. However, on December 4, 2012, a majority of the full Senate voted against ratifying the U.N. CRPD. I did not support Senate ratification of this treaty. As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I take the task of providing advice and consent on international treaties seriously. The U.S. should only ratify treaties which advance U.S. national interests. Ratifying the U.N. CRPD, which does not advance U.S. interests, would diminish the standing of the U.S. by joining a treaty simply for its title rather than for its tangible benefits to the American people.

    Thank you again for contacting me about this issue and I look forward to addressing the concerns of the people of Florida. I will continue to work to ensure that the United States remains a safe and prosperous nation.


    Marco Rubio
    United States Senator

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